Colwood's stalled 'Two Waters' master-planned community could re-emerge pending land sale
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published April 6, 2021
Third time could the charm at a master-planned residential and commercial development eyed for Colwood’s Esquimalt Lagoon.
The Victoria-based office of real-estate brokerage CBRE is soliciting bids from developers looking to revive a 700-home project that hit the pre-sales market in spring of 2019 as Two Waters
from Relevant Properties, which itself was a re-envisioned concept for a proposal that emerged a decade earlier as Ocean Grove.
Neither Ocean Grove – or its follow-up Two Waters – moved beyond the concept stage despite strong interest from buyers ready to invest in what was and remains viewed as a a highly desirable oceanside subdivision.
Ross Marshall, Senior Vice-President of CBRE Victoria which is the brokerage representing the sale, says a number of well-established developers have expressed interest in CBRE’s recent listing of the 26.5-acre Two Waters property (near the southern banks of Esquimalt Lagoon at Lagoon and Heatherbell roads), and considering the calibre of firms vying for the land, construction may not be far away.
“Developers with a high level of sophistication and awareness of the local home building industry have come forward, and we know from experience they have the ability to successfully undertake a complex, multi-phased development of this scale,” Marshall said, adding that an undertaking of nearly 30-acres requires sizable financial backing and building activity on-site to boost buyer confidence.
Although CBRE’s listing emerged un-priced, Marshall believes the sale value will top $30 million in light of recent large-scaled land transactions on southern Vancouver Island, and mounting competition among large firms working to secure expansive parcels for mixed-use, high-profile real-estate investments.
Two Waters’ initial phase was planned as a 61-unit collection of Mediterranean-like, Arts & Crafts-styled townhomes designed by Merrick Architecture. Future phases were to take form as townhomes and multi-storey residential buildings set upon water features and green spaces. Moving forward, the densities on the land are likely to be lower, Marshall surmises, with an initial focus on a mix of single-family-dwellings and townhomes.
CBRE’s listing is a court-ordered sale. C
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